Mistakes That Make Labor Longer & Harder

When labor begins, the last thing that any woman wants to happen is to make it last any longer than it has to. This is why there are recommendations that are made both during pregnancy and while in labor for women to do that are designed to make the process as easy and short as possible. While some women follow the tips and tricks they are given to reduce their labor and delivery time, others do not.



Instead, they make mistakes that make labor longer and harder than necessary. And these are the things that labor and delivery horror stories are made of.

The recommendations that are made for women to decrease their labor time are not made by professionals to just hear themselves talk. It is because, in their years of experience, they have discovered what works and what does not to keep women processing from labor to delivery without any stalling or delays.

As such, those same professionals can get an idea as to who follows their suggestions when labor is in full swing and who does not. And they can only hope that for any future pregnancies, those who did not listen will reevaluate their choices.

RELATED: 10 Moms-To-Be Labor Tips From Labor & Delivery Nurses

Here are mistakes that make labor harder and longer.


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10 Not Exercising During Pregnancy

Exercise is recommended during pregnancy not only to maintain a healthy weight but to help women with their stamina when it comes to beginning the process of labor and delivery.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, consistent exercise during pregnancy can help not only shorten the time that labor occurs, but it can help women to feel less exhausted when dealing with contractions and later on pushing.

As such, not exercising during pregnancy is a huge mistake when it comes to going into labor.

9 Not Doing Kegels While Pregnant

The muscles needed during labor will get exhausted fairly quickly if they are not exercised during pregnancy. The best way to do this is by doing Kegels.

According to Pampers, Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor. When the pelvic floor is strong, it can be relaxed and controlled during labor. Something that will keep the muscles from over-exerting and make labor easier as well.


8 Not Learning Relaxation Exercises During Pregnancy

Relaxation exercises during labor help to release endorphins into the body, according to Evidence Based Birth. When this happens, labor is not as painful and the process of labor is easier.

Taking the time to learn relaxation exercises while pregnant may seem like a waste of time. But when in labor, women will see just how much they pay off when labor does not stall and moves forward as it should.

7 Not Staying Home Until In Active Labor

Many women think that they have to rush to the hospital as soon as labor begins. But this is not the case. In fact, Going to the hospital too soon can cause labor to move at a snail’s pace.

As such, until in active labor, (unless personal doctors recommend otherwise) women should stay home. They will not only keep labor moving but will be more comfortable as well.


6 Not Having A Birth Plan

Making a birth plan does not seem like a necessary thing to do for some women. After all, they just need to focus on getting to the hospital in time and doctors will take care of the rest, right?

While this can be true, when women are in the throes of labor and do not feel like they have any control, labor can stall. Something that is not helpful for women or their babies.

According to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, when women have a birth plan they can relay to hospital staff as soon as they arrive, their wishes about how they want the labor and delivery process to go can be adhered to. When this happens, there is less for women to worry about because they are being listened to and are comfortable. Both things help keep labor shorter.

5 Not Learning How To Properly Breathe

Learning to breathe during labor is not something that prenatal classes teach just for the fun of it. As it turns out, learning and Practicing breathing techniques while in labor can help to shorten the process. And conversely, not learning to breathe can have the opposite effect.

According to WebMD, breathing during pregnancy helps both with focus and strength. As such, being able to focus on nothing but the contraction When it is happening and breathing through it will help keep the contractions progressing. Then, when it is time to push, the strength from the breath will help labor come to an end by bringing beautiful babies into the world.

4 Not Changing Positions When In Labor

It used to be that women were kept in a prone position when giving birth because it was thought to be the safest. In reality, all the position serves to do is slow the labor process. This is why it is a mistake not to move positions when in active labor.

According to a 2007 study, when women change their positions during labor help babies get into position to be born. Women who are more upright help babies move down the birth canal. Women who change from sitting to being on hands and knees or other positions that women find to be comfortable also help baby prepare for their arrival.

3 Not Walking While In Labor

Be it walking at home when early labor begins or walking in the hospital during active labor, both are beneficial when it comes to moving labor along. But doing neither can slow the process of labor and even stall it.

According to Lamaze International, walking while in labor helps toEase the pain of contractions, make labor less intense, and shorten labor by getting babies into position in a faster fashion than when not moving during labor at all.


2 Not Fueling Properly While In Labor

Women were prohibited from eating while in labor because of a fear that women would aspirate on the contents of their stomachs if they had to be put under anesthesia. And while this is a concern for women who have high-risk pregnancies, if the pregnancy is healthy and women are not showing any signs of distress, a light meal can be helpful during labour.

According to the UTSouthwesten Medical Center, Eating a light meal is beneficial to pregnant women in labor because it helps to keep their energy up. And the more energy they have, the easier labor and delivery are.

Therefore, not taking advantage of eating during pregnancy can be a huge mistake when it comes to labor.

1 Getting Dehydrated

Dehydration zaps the body of necessary energy. That is necessary when women go into labor.

As such, If women stay hydrated during pregnancy, they will have an easier labor processaccording to Parents. This is because women will have more stamina and feel stronger when hydration levels are high, rather than feeling depleted before labor really even gets underway.

Source: American Pregnancy Association, Pampers, Evidence Based Birth, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, WebMD, The Journal of Perinatal Education, Lamaze International, UTSouthwesten Medical Center, Parents

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